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Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Watching TV on a Saturday morning 

Although I could have done some big fanfare-y announcement about the fact that Laura Lippman has finally, finally joined the 'sphere with "The Memory Project"--oh wait, maybe I just did--her latest post touched upon something that tends to be a touchstone of cultural reference for differing generations: Saturday morning kids' shows.

Usually, at least for me and my peers, it was a topic of conversation all-too-familiar in collegiate settings, usually in the campus bar. Likeminded students getting together, having beers, and well, age-regressing to their early childhoods in fond remembrance of those obscure, kitschy, bizarre, and utterly stupid cartoons they watched back then. Oh, sure, we'd reminisce about the good stuff--especially because we were older and such wonderful examples of cartoonery were pulled off the air or edited due to some censorship and political correctness issues--but really, we just wanted to play a form of "Can You Top This" with each other. Although any time "The Care Bears" were brought up in the presence of my company, I made my own objections loud and clear. The saccharine dialogue and wimpy demeanor of the characters make me shudder still even today.

What exactly was it about these shows that kept--and still keep--kids hooked? The medium of television? The novelty of seeing silliness in cartoon format or laughing at even greater silliness on the part of live humans in the midst of some wacky situation or another? I'm still not sure, but all I know is, whenever I see my friends from college, we end up taking a trip through time to revisit the salient points of the shows we watched--and recount our experiences in the same voices and same vocabulary we had as little kids.

So all of this pontificating to ask--which shows did you watch as a kid? Which were actually good, and which were awful but you watched anyway? Any commonalities between what North American and UK audiences got to see? (One of the above links was to a BBC-owned show, I believe.)

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